Henry is 10 and had asthma since he was 4. Viral illness triggers his asthma easily, which can, without starting inhalers develop into a chest infection. He’s often treated with antibiotics and Sharon has explored improving his health with alternative medicine.
Sharon’s son Henry developed asthma at the age of four. He was hospitalized with pneumonia and although not given asthma diagnosis as such, he was prescribed asthma inhalers and put under the care of an asthma nurse. Henry has never had a full-blown asthma attack and his symptoms are only triggered by having the cold, flu or chest infection or hay fever.
Henry tends to be ill with a flu-like-illness a couple of times a year. Sharon explains that at the first sign of illness, Henry starts his blue Ventolin inhaler. Most of the time this is enough to prevent the illness from progressing to anything more than a cold. When he does develop a flu-like-illness he typically has high temperature, shallow breathing and he will cough up phlegm. His condition can deteriorate very quickly and wheeziness is a sign that he’s getting worse. If symptoms won’t ease off after the first three days with inhalers and home management, Sharon sees her GP or the out-of-hours doctor who almost always treat him with antibiotics (Amoxicillin). Sharon says she is worried about whether Henry has had antibiotics too often and if he could develop resistance to antibiotics in the future.
As Henry has gotten older, he is more able to describe to his parents how he is feeling. Sharon uses a scale of 1-10 for him to explain how ill he is feeling. Sharon says the biggest impact of Henry being ill has been on school. Having to miss school because of illness, as well as appointments, has increased pressure from his primary school and had a negative effect on Henry. Sharon says Primary schools aren’t always very understanding of the fact that some children simply do get more ill, and more frequently than others.
Because of his early hospital experiences, Henry developed a fear of needles, which made taking blood tests and giving vaccinations very challenging and made him anxious. The flu-vaccine becoming available as a nasal spray has made it easier for him to have it now. Sharon says she wants to try and minimize Henry’s intake of medications, as well as the additives in his diet or unnecessary toxins. She has found help in aromatherapy and homeopathy for managing colds but says her daughter responds to them better than her son. She also gives Henry probiotics daily to try and replenish the good bacteria in the body.